Speaking in a basement room of a mostly quiet City and County building, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock told a dozen Emergency Operations Center staff gathered before him and others watching online that citizens need the safety and security only they can provide.
Hancock’s days are filled with meetings. Questions and concerns pile up with each one.
More residents are ignoring the stay-at-home order he put in place through the end of April to control the spread of the virus. How can Denver ease restrictions equitably? Will businesses hurt more if they open at half capacity? Should there be a curfew?
Hancock’s rollout of the stay-at-home order was not smooth. He initially announced that liquor stores and recreational marijuana shops would be closed before reversing course after long lines formed outside of both across the city, undermining social distancing guidance.
The city government, like public agencies across Colorado, faces a dire loss of tax revenue from virus-prompted shutdowns. Hancock, on a conference call with other metro area city leaders, heard of planned furloughs and open positions left dark, which Denver is considering, too.
“In every challenge, the people are looking for that group of people who are going to stand up and fight on their behalf,” Hancock said. “We’re the people. We’re the ones.”